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High Impact Practices (HIPs)

First Year Experience

First Year Experience at PPCC includes in class and out of class experiences. New students at PPCC benefit from taking AAA 109 (3 credit hours), getting involved in clubs and campus activities (like Welcome Week or The Global Villages Roundtables).


Faculty and instructors can engage new students by designing courses using these five keys principles:

The 5 KEYs for teaching new students: 

  • Structure your course clearly. 
  • Communicate your expectations regularly. 
  • Be reasonably flexible with the challenges students face.
  • Design for student growth in learning the course content.
  • Reflect on your teaching. For example, ask yourself:  How does this assignment empower students to learn the course outcomes? Am I flexible enough that students are empowered to learn the course outcomes? 

Below is an example of a AAA109 student's project and her experience.

Supporting Research

         Bers, Trudy and Donna Younger. "The First-Year Experience in Community Colleges." New Directions for Institutional Research, vol. 2013, no. 160, Aug.                               2014, pp. 77-93. EBSCOhost

             Connolly, Sara, et al. "First Year Experience for At-Risk College Students." College Student Journal, vol. 51, no. 1, 01 Mar. 2017, pp. 1-6. EBSCOhost

Essential Books


Peeples, Shanna. Think Like Socrates: Using Questions to Invite Wonder and Empathy Into the Classroom, Grades 4-12 (Corwin Teaching Essentials). 1st ed., Corwin, 2018.

Note: Content is easily adaptable for higher education in all disciplines.

*Available for checkout from PPCC Library at both Centennial and Rampart Range Campus


Verschelden, Cia, and Pasquerella. Bandwidth Recovery. Zaltbommel-Netherlands, Netherlands, Van Haren Publishing, 2017.

              *Available for checkout from PPCC Library at both Centennial and Rampart Range Campus

FYE Teaching Tips

Teaching TIP #1: In Announcements, post a clear outline of what will be covered in class that week, to include student deliverables with due date. 

Teaching TIP #2: Call students by name. Start all feedback, emails, and discussion responses with the student’s name.

Teaching TIP # 3: Personalize. Add a picture. Use the audio feedback function.

Teaching Tip #4: Use D2L discussion boards to learn from diverse others and engage in substantive conversations.


60 Minutes report on Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, the President of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) the school where it's "Cool to be smart."      -or-

Why do students drop out? 

How can PPCC create an environment where students feel they belong? Do your teachers expect you to do well here? Do they check in with you on your progress? What pushes you to do better? 

Teaching TIP #5: Encourage students to talk about their dreams. For example, “Here’s why I want to be a nurse (fill in the blank).” Post career type videos in content.

Example: Watch the video of Justice Sonia Sotomayor when she spoke at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2016

What lessons can we learn from Justice Sotomayor regarding education? How important is education? Why? How does this connect with your career path?

Teaching TIP #6: Check-in with students individually, on how it’s going, especially grades, and then submit early alerts.   

Teaching TIP #7: In Discussions: Ask students to find a TIme Management app. Have students describe which to use and why.

Teaching TIP #8: Develop community through Collaborative Projects. Example: In Google docs, student groups write a letter of advocacy for a group/type of student at the college and send to club advisor, student government, president, dean, department chair, etc.

HIPs Faculty Specialists are peer experts who are ready to assist fellow faculty to implement or improve high impact practices.


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